Australian picture books continue to find publishers overseas, with several large (Scholastic) and smaller publishers (Scribe, Fremantle Press) recently selling the rights to their titles to the US and China (see Rights sales and acquisitions).
While some of these titles are distinctly ‘Australian’ (Koalas Eat Gum Leaves, Kookaburras Love to Laugh), a new Australian picture book takes inspiration from traditional Southeast Asian storytelling methods. NLA Publishing’s recently acquired Hiding Moon, written by Emma Allen and illustrated by Sher Rill Ng, features shadow play or ‘shadow puppetry’ practiced in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. Ng, who is also the creator of the forthcoming feminist picture book Our Little Inventor (Allen & Unwin), said she was drawn to the project because of its celebration of different cultures. ‘I love that diversity is becoming more prominent in all forms of storytelling, and this is no exception,’ she said.